VOLUME XXX / NUMBER 4 • THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE VIRGINIA STEEPLECHASE ASSOCIATION • FALL 2018
A study in focused expressions on the faces of competitors at the 2018 Warrenton Horse Show: Classic Hunter Jumper Class on Saturday, September 1, and Hunt Night, Sunday, September 2. Michael Stevens photos
Lexi van der Woude, Warrenton Hunt.
Jessica Chappell, competing in a Saturday class.
Sandy Rives, Keswick Hunt Club.
Maureen Britell, Piedmont Fox Hounds.
Eliza van der Woude, Warrenton Hunt.
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY â€¢ FALL 2018
VIRGINIA HUNT WEEK
Sat., Oct. 13 Deep Run Sun., Oct. 14 Oak Ridge Mon., Oct. 15 Keswick Tues., Oct. 16 Farmington Wed., Oct. 17 Middlebrook Thurs., Oct. 18Bedford Fri., Oct. 19 Stonewall Sat., Oct. 20 Glenmore
Sun., Oct. 21 Rockbridge Mon., Oct. 22 Travel/Shop Tues., Oct. 23 Casanova Wed., Oct. 24 Rappahannock Thurs., Oct. 25Old Dominion Fri., Oct. 26 Bull Run Sat., Oct. 27 Commonwealth Sun., Oct. 28 Caroline
For updates on the schedule and other information,
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2018
SPORTING LIFE HIGHLIGHTS Come Join the Fun of Foxhunting with Friends at the 2018 Theodora A. Randolph Field Hunter Championship Fox hunting enthusiasts who claim they have the “best foxhunter” in the country, mark your calendar, then come to Middleburg this fall to prove it. Join in the action for a week filled with foxhunting behind some of the best packs in Virginia, along with get-togethers in the evenings and during the day at the Virginia Fall Races held October 13th at Glenwood Park. Entries will close on September 21st and information can be found at www.vafallraces.com. This year, the competition will hunt from Monday, October 8th, through Thursday, October 11th, behind the hounds of the Warrenton Hunt, Blue Ridge Hunt, Orange County Hounds, and Bull Run Hunt. The Finals will be held on Saturday morning, October 13th at 9 AM prior to MacKenzie Taylor of Goshen Hunt (MD) the full day’s races at Glenwood Park. rode Linda Becker’s “Rita” to victory in The winning horse will be chosen after the 2017 Theodora A. Randolph Field Hunter Championship. the completion of trials which begin Douglas Lees photo with the judging of the “Best Turned Out” horse and rider, then moves to a short mock hunt that starts and ends right on the race course. The field will be narrowed to at least 10 finalists to complete an individual course with approximately 15 hunt type jumps and tests where they may be required to drop a rail, open a gate and/or hand gallop and halt. Spectators are encouraged to arrive early and walk out onto the race course so as not to miss the action. The family of the late Mrs. Theodora Ayer Randolph will again honor her memory and her lifetime commitment to fox hunting by awarding prize money of $2500 to the Champion and $1500 to the Reserve Champion to the hunts of the Winning Riders. General Admission price is $50.00 per carload of four people. To reach Glenwood Park from the Washington DC area, take I-66 West and exit Route 50 West (Exit 57B towards Winchester). Drive approximately 25 miles to Middleburg and turn right at stop light in Middleburg (Route 626, Foxcroft Road). Proceed 1 mile North to Glenwood Park on your right. For additional information and/or photos contact the Field Hunter Championship Chairman Mrs. Karyn Wilson at 703-403-4884 or email at Karynwilson.firstname.lastname@example.org. •••••
Junior Field Hunter Championship Gets Underway Qualifying meets for this year’s Junior Field Hunter Championship are starting up in September. The masters at Old Dominion Hounds and their crew of eager volunteers are already hard at work preparing for the finals, to be hosted in Orlean, Virginia, over the weekend of November 10-11.
(l-r) Lydia Eifler and Tate Northrop at the JNAFHC qualifying meet hosted by Long Run Hounds (KY) in 2017. Megan Northrop photo
Most of the qualifying meets are scheduled from September through early November, but dates may vary depending on the hunting season in a given area. We suggest you check with your local hunt. As of press time, the schedule lists hunts in 14 states—along the East Coast from Pennsylvania to Florida and as far west as Washington—that are on board to host qualifiers. This program is designed to achieve several important goals. Number one is for juniors to come together, get to know each other, form friendships that may last a lifetime, and enjoy foxhunting. Seeing juniors embrace the sport is a vivid way to remind hunt members how important juniors are to preserving both foxhunting and the countryside. The JNAFHC has proven to be a valuable tool in encouraging more cooperation among hunt clubs, thus strengthening the bonds of foxhunting throughout the country. Juniors travel around to the different participating hunts, enjoy hunting in new territory, and learn about the different hound packs. We encourage everyone who cares about the future of foxhunting to help support the JNAFHC. For more information, go to www.jnafhc.com or contact Marion Chungo at 540-220-7292 or Mchungo@aol.com. •••••
Virginia Hunt Week: Two Weeks of Foxhunting in the Heart of Virginia’s Hunt Country Virginia Hunt Week will be held this year from Saturday, October 13, through Sunday, October 28. Participants will have the opportunity to hunt with 15 different packs through some of the best hunting country in the world (plus one day of shopping at Horse Country Saddlery). Regular full hunting members of the affiliated hunt clubs may participate for a fee of three hundred dollars ($300) per person. Other foxhunters will pay a fee of four hundred dollars ($400) per person. (There is no charge for juniors, MFHs, professional huntsmen and whippers-in, or citizens of the UK.) Even if you’re only able to attend two or three days of hunting, it’s still well worth signing up. And the more hunts you can attend, the better the bargain. For more information, including the registration form, go to www.vahuntweek.org.
Michael Stevens PHOTOGRAPHERS: Liz Callar www.smugmug.com
Richard Clay richardclayphotography.com Adam Coglianese Pamela Haefner Janet Hitchen Douglas Lees email@example.com Dee Leftwich Joanne Maisano www.joannemaisano.com Jim McCue Megan Northrup Michael Stevens Lauren Petruskie, Honorary Huntsman for Commonwealth Foxhounds (VA), competing in the Staff Class at the Warrenton Horse Show, Hunt Night, September 2, 2018.
Regular subscription 5 issues $25.00, U.S.A. First Class subscription $35.00, Europe, Canada, etc. $45.00
is published 5 times a year. Editorial and Advertising Address: 60 Alexandria Pike, Warrenton, VA 20186 For information and advertising rates, please call (540) 347-3141, fax (540) 347-7141 Space Deadline for the Holiday issue is October 11, 2018. Payment in full due with copy. Publisher: Marion Maggiolo Managing Editor: J. Harris Anderson Advertising: Debbie Cutler (540) 347-3141, (800) 882-4868, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Contributors: Dr. Todd Addis, VMD; Aga; J. Harris Anderson; Lauren R. Giannini; Will O’Keefe; Barclay Rives; Virginia Equine Alliance; Jenny Young LAYOUT & DESIGN: Kate Houchin Copyright © 2018 In & Around Horse Country®. All Rights Reserved. Volume XXX, No. 4 POSTMASTER: CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2018
What To Do When Your Mojo Goes No-Jo By J. Harris Anderson, Managing Editor
O wad some power the giftie gie us To see oursels as horses see us! (With apologies to Robert Burns)
Performing well in equestrian sport, at any level, requires physical ability, positive mental attitude, and a supportive social base. Many riders are fortunate enough to have all three working in harmony. For some, glitches can arise in one or more of these areas that ruin the rider’s enjoyment and performance. Even those who are performing well may feel stuck when trying to take their game to a higher level. Of these three pillars, the one that most of us tend to focus on is the physical aspect of riding; those motor skills needed for the flexibility, balance, strength, reflexes, and muscle memory that enable us to communicate with our equine partner to achieve the desired outcome. But do we put too much emphasis on the physical at the expense of the mental? And when performance problems arise, and then become persistent, do we simply assume that the solution lies in trying harder, practicing more, just getting over and on with it? When that doesn’t work, do we then try a new saddle? Another trainer? A different horse? What if the failure to perform as we wish becomes so overwhelming that we consider giving up equestrian sport completely? A better alternative: Take preventive action sooner before the situation devolves into a crisis. And if it’s already reached the point where nothing in the physical realm is working, consider focusing on the mental game. How to do that? There are multiple options, but one definitely worth considering is to add a sport psychologist to your support team. Middleburg-based clinical psychologist Dr. Paul Haefner provides a wide range of counseling services. While he still helps people work through many different types of personal issues, his practice has increasingly focused on sport psychology with an emphasis on equestrian sport. Not surprisingly, this flows from Paul’s own involvement in the horse world. His work with both parties to the human-horse relationship has helped many riders overcome obstacles that were interfering with their performance and enjoyment of riding. It’s also led to several helpful insights with broader applications. His own riding résumé began when he was ten years old, competing in local hunter/jumper classes around his native Rochester, New York. In his midteens he moved into dressage, low level eventing, and starting young horses. After a break from riding during college years, he returned to the horse world while in graduate school, jumping and showing locally. (He holds a BS in Physics, with minors in four other subjects, from Iona College and earned his MA and PhD in Clinical Psychology from Catholic University.) What he refers to as an “incident” in 2001 started him down the path toward the focus on horse sports that would eventually become the core of his professional practice.
Dr. Paul Haefner, PhD. Pamela Haefner photo
He had started a five-year-old gelding for someone, ended up buying the horse, and began showing him. The horse did well, but developed what Paul describes as an “intermittent explosive bucking disorder.” He sought help from four different trainers, but none were able to correct the problem. The turning point came when, while waiting his turn at a show, another rider cut in front, which caused Paul’s horse to rear up and flip over backward. Paul was badly bruised but not seriously injured. He knew that, physically, he could get back on the horse. But he decided that he didn’t have to. Rather than letting the bruising, both physical and emotional, get the better of him, it inspired Paul to realize there was more he needed to learn. This led to an intense interest in natural horsemanship. He studied every resource he could find, from all the well-known practitioners, and eventually settled on the Parelli program. “I went with that,” he admits, “mostly because of the instruction manual.” He also met a local trainer, the late Scott Freeland, who had a remarkable ability to turn even the most obstreperous horse into a compliant and cooperative partner. For the next ten years Paul focused on developing an understanding of his own psychology as it relates to the horse, and the horse’s psychology as it relates to him. Along the way, inspired by his two young sons, he discovered foxhunting and fell in love with the sport. His sons, Justin (18) and Luke (15), have moved on to other interests so Paul currently is on hiatus from the hunting field. But he looks forward to returning to it after his sons are “launched,” as he puts it. Another “incident” helped deepen his ability to empathize with riders who have gone through scary
moments with horses. A horse he was riding spooked and ran off with him. It ended with Paul on the ground, unconscious, with the side of his helmet caved in. Fortunately, no permanent harm done, but it left him with a better sense of how someone might struggle to get back on a horse after a traumatic episode. Building on his professional training, his personal experiences and his study of horsemanship, Paul now defines three general categories of his work that focuses on athletes (equestrians and others): Performance enhancement: Athletes who are well adjusted and generally performing at an acceptable level, but who are seeking to improve their peak performance during competition. Resolving impediments to performance: Perhaps the biggest category, this involves addressing people’s reactions to participation in their sport, events in their engagement in sport, and personal reactions to life events that impair their functioning. This includes recovery from accidents and injury, performance anxiety, fear issues, anger management, relationship issues, etc., which get in the way of fully participating in the sport. Assistance with serious mental health issues: These are issues that impact a person’s overall functioning that includes their sport but which also affect other areas of life. This includes anxiety, depression, substance abuse, etc. True, anyone involved in any type of sport can face obstacles to a desired level of performance such as those noted above. But horse sports add a unique element not found in other sporting pursuits—the need to partner with a large animal that perceives the world through a substantially different filter. Related to this is the attendant risk that comes whenever you throw a leg over one of these critters, whether a small pony or a huge draft horse Put those two factors together, and the potential for impediments rises well above, say, problems related to a persistent hook in one’s golf swing or a nagging hitch in one’s tennis serve. Impediments to performance can arise for a wide variety of reasons. Certainly, it takes some gumption to come back from a riding-related injury. Some folks may be able to easily compartmentalize their feelings and, once physically healed, simply get back to it right where they left off. Many others, however, may find their gumption level has dropped a quart or two (or more). A three-foot coop that had previously seemed little more than a cavaletti may now look more like a puissance wall. Where no specific accident or injury has occurred, the root cause for the rider’s loss of confidence may be harder to diagnose. But the consequences are no less real. Continued
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2018
“People naturally protect themselves in a variety of ways,” Paul says. “We call them ‘defense mechanisms.’ It’s not about being defensive, but defending your personal psychological integrity against the world. Some examples include minimizing problems, obsessively or compulsively organizing your world, and taking mental breaks in the form of daydreaming or being lost in your thoughts. When experienced in the extreme, these natural defenses can cause serious problems in our riding. For example, I once assisted a rider who, when a situation became stressful, would just fall off. His mind would completely shut down.” The rider may not easily recognize and understand the dynamics causing the impediment to his or her riding. The key, Paul explains, is to help riders raise their awareness of these less than conscious causes, bringing them into awareness. When riders understand what’s going on and how their thoughts and feelings are connected to their behavior and, therefore, the behavior of their horses, they can find alternative ways to cope. This is empowering because the unconscious was something the rider had no control over, but by bringing it into awareness the person can then re-engage and take charge of his or her participation in sport and life. Of course, there’s no cookie-cutter remedy that fits all riders. The target issue, the history of the issue, the current context, and the personality of the rider, including his or her strengths and weaknesses, guide the therapeutic approach taken. There is, though, a cookie analogy that applies to many cases. Studies show that 99% of people will automatically salivate in response to the smell of cookies. This is known as the Ideomotor Response, a connection between imagery and physical response that bypasses thinking. As an example, Paul described a top-level rider who was performing well for the most part, but was having trouble landing smoothly over certain types of jumps. He encouraged her to think of an image of something soft and smooth. For her, that image was melting butter. She connected that mental image to her jumping style and paired it with the phrase, “Pure butter, baby.” Problem solved. The connection may be to a physical image, a past positive experience, or other trigger that sparks the desired physical response. The emotion, rather than remaining in the unconscious and hampering the rider’s performance, is thus linked to the rider’s conscious awareness via the chosen word or phrase. Horses: What They Tell Us About Ourselves It’s an old saw, attributed to a variety of sources from Thomas Jefferson to Winston Churchill (and difficult to rephrase in gender-neutral form without losing the flow): “The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man.” That sentiment takes on a much broader connotation in Paul Haefner’s equestrian-centric practice. “Improving the relationship between horse and rider may also benefit personal growth goals, such as increased self-confidence, assertiveness, trust, intimacy, and balance in relationships. Working with horses promotes heightened self-awareness via the challenge to find alternative ways to communicate, to avoid conflict, build cooperation, and form a partnership. Our relationship style and personality across species interactions (i.e., human/horse) influences how we deal with conflict and meet the challenges of equestrian sport. Are we optimistic or pessimistic? Do we project our own understanding and perspectives onto our horse? Our relationship with horses can remind us of what we already know about ourselves or reveal new and helpful insights into how we engage the world. When you explore that and take responsibility for relationships with horses, it becomes a fertile launching pad to look at other relationships in life.” In Paul’s life, the most significant relationship is with his wife Pam, a social worker who specializes in psychotherapy with families that have young children and also works with women around post-partum concerns. The Haefners will soon celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary, and you can bet there will be some dancing at that event. Dancing has been a mainstay of their life as a couple, and Paul notes the metaphorical applications between dancing and working with horses. “It’s all about nonverbal communication through physical cues and body language. Whether dancing with a human partner or working with an equine partner, in the saddle or on the ground, the interaction heightens an awareness of who you are and deepens an understanding of your capabilities. Working with horses
engages us in a way to see ourselves in a new light.” This, then, speaks to another foundational pillar—a supportive social base. If there are relational stresses in our life—with, say, a trainer, significant other, family members, coworkers, barn-mates, other members of our riding community, etc.—are those stresses adversely affecting our horse/human interactions? Conversely, are we learning more about ourselves and how to deal with stressful situations through the way we interact with horses, and then applying those lessons to other relationships in a constructive way? The outside of a horse may be good for the inside of a man (or woman). But do we leave that good feeling in the barn or take it with us and use it as a positive force in other aspects of our life? Recapturing Your Mojo We asked Dr. Haefner if it’s possible to identify a tipping point between a person working through a problem on his or her own and the need for professional help. In other words, how can someone tell when it’s time for counseling? “The answer to this question,” he says, “is driven in large part by each rider’s motivations and goals. It’s similar to asking the question, ‘When do I need a riding instructor or trainer?’ Ultimately, I would like to believe that consultation with a sport psychologist would be helpful to anyone at any time. There is always room to improve one’s mental game. I would love to see it become as regular a part of every rider’s participation in the sport as a riding instructor and trainer. This does not mean that everyone needs to be seeing me all the time. Rather, it might mean attending seminars and clinics or periodic check-ins and tune-ups. “Unfortunately, most riders seek me out when they already have a problem. Some of these issues are easily solved and I can very quickly get people back on track. Other times, it takes longer consistent intervention to help people recover. Many (not all) problems could be prevented if greater attention was paid to the mental and emotional side of our participation. “The larger goal as a sport psychologist is to put the person back into performance. The focus has been on helping top level riders achieve high levels of performance. But the hard fact is that the vast majority of riders will never compete at a high level. Focusing on this creates the opportunity to customize an approach based on the individual’s unique strengths and support him or her given that person’s unique challenges. The goal is to enable the rider to truly enjoy participating in their chosen equestrian sport.” What if the rider realizes he or she needs to work on the mental game but wants to try the DIY approach first before engaging a sport psychologist? Are there books or other resources available? (There actually is “Sport Psychology for Dummies,” oxymoronic though that might seem.) “There are many, many good books on sport psychology.” (We did not ask if Paul considers “…for Dummies” one of them.) “It can be very helpful to educate oneself. Some people are able to take what they learn and implement it with great success. But, just like many complex things, much of the time knowledge alone is not enough. For example, there are many good books on riding. Can someone master riding in any discipline directly from a book? It’s possible, I suppose, but doesn’t seem likely. Knowledge will help accelerate our growth and development in most cases, but it’s most helpful with guidance as you work to implement new ideas.” And if that guidance is not readily available in your area? “Many times virtual sessions can be very helpful. I offer both phone and video chat sessions. For general sport psychologists, the Association for the Advancement of Sport Psychology has a listing of people who are certified through their organization. It’s more difficult, though, to find someone who specializes in equestrian sport. I frequently provide referrals to colleagues of whom I am aware when face-to-face sessions are indicated.” Looking to “up your game”? Feeling a loss in the pleasure and satisfaction you once found in equestrian sport? Finding your mojo fading into no-go? It might be time to consider adding sport psychology to your support regimen. For more information, you can visit the Association for the Advancement of Sport Psychology’s website at www.appliedsportpsych.org or Dr. Paul Haefner’s site, www.ridingfar.com. Dr. Haefner can also be reached via email at email@example.com or phone at 703-727-3205.
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2018
SPORT PSYCHOLOGY Personal Experiences With Sport Psychology I was chicken, a new and scary feeling. My mare Lacey and I had progressed to Adult Amateur levels, generally pinning—sometimes blue. Then it ended. For some reason I was not using my legs or crop, not driving Lacey to jumps. Mentally I soon began to expect the refusals and run-outs. Hearing “The gentleman may be excused” was disheartening. Lacey was fit, athletic, and talented; the problem had to be me. I needed a sports psychologist; I was lucky and found Dr. Paul Haefner in Leesburg. I was immediately comfortable with him. Paul listened to what I said and perceived what I didn’t say. He was empathetic and open; reflective conversation was easy. Paul asked penetrating questions: Why did I ride? What were my goals? What had changed, on or off the horse? A professional prod here and a prod there, and soon I understood what had happened. There had been an unfortunate aligning of dark stars: A deeply rooted competitive streak; pushing myself too far, too fast. Then spills. I’d become defensive—chicken. I began to expect the negative results. Paul had me describe good rounds from the past, how they made me feel, the physical differences between then and now. He helped me reboot. I lowered the jumps in my mind and in our ring. I sat stronger in the saddle and I drove Lacey forward, using the positive imagery Paul taught me. I worked with him for about a month and developed new confidence; now I was using leg pressure, boot heels, and the occasional tap of a crop without fear of getting dumped. The jumps were soon back at their old height and I was a transformed rider. My positive mental state even seemed to improve my style. I now rode forward, flowing with my horse. I was pinning again—and I was grinning. Charlie Houston
••••• It may have started with one traumatic incident, although it wasn’t apparent at the time. I was unharmed, but a favorite horse, just reaching his prime as a hunter and staff horse, was lost. Over time, first slowly and then in an overwhelming flood of paralyzing emotions, the mojo was gone. Some days I didn’t even want to go to the barn. I sucked it up enough to keep hunting, but only in second field. The mojo would resurface from time to time, enough for a brief return to first field. But then it would fade and even a small coop looked daunting. My trainer was patient and understanding. She tried different approaches to help me work through it. Some days it clicked, most days it didn’t. It was not a short-term aberration. We’re talking four years of this. Did I want to keep trying, to keep hunting? If so, was I satisfied with staying in second field? What was my true motivation for foxhunting? It was to be with hounds—if not a return to staff duty, at least to be up in first field, as close as possible to the action. And to do that, I needed my mojo back. There was nothing physically wrong. No injury or illness. Getting a bit on in years, but still fit and active enough for a good day of mounted sport, including taking a horse over any typical hunt field fence. I was ready to try the sport psychology option. Enter Paul Haefner. We’d met before, hunting together some years earlier. I visited Paul once a week over the course of a month. I should have done so about four years sooner. His guidance helped me work through the blockage, sort out the motivations, and find the resources I needed to get back in the game. I still need to keep working at it, to practice with the tools I now have. But I’m already well ahead of where I was just a few months ago and, if the mojo threatens to recede again, I know how to stop it, regain my focus, and get to the other side. A Virginia Foxhunter
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2018
Lessons from Xenophon By Barclay Rives
Greek philosopher, historian, and veteran warrior Xenophon wrote The Art of Horsemanship over 2,300 years ago. The oldest surviving work on the subject in any language, it contains enduring wisdom, such as how to evaluate a horse before purchase. Because the work mostly concerns riding and training for war, some of its passages have become less pertinent, such as how to use one’s spear to pole vault onto a horse’s back. Another Xenophon treatise, On Hunting, although primarily about hounds in pursuit of hares, also contains useful lessons for present day foxhunters. Xenophon was born around 430 BC. As a young man, he met Socrates in a narrow lane. Socrates blocked his way with a stick and asked him where men were made good and virtuous. When Xenophon said he did not know, Socrates said, “Follow me and learn.” Preceding Plato, Xenophon was the first to publish teachings of Socrates. UVa Professor Harry Gamble, classical authority and equestrian, notes that Xenophon’s equestrian activity likely enhanced his philosophical inquiry, because, “being on the back of a horse tends to elevate the mind.” Xenophon, nearing age 30, joined a Greek mercenary army under Cyrus in an expedition against Cyrus’s brother, the Persian King Artaxerxes II. (Devotees of sporting literature remember that Mr. Jorrocks in Handley Cross (Chapter X) calls the front horse of his tandem Xerxes and the rear one Arter-Xerxes because he “comes arter” Xerxes.) The force won a victory at the battle of Cunaxa. However, Cyrus was killed. During an ensuing peace conference, the Persians murdered four generals and several captains. Xenophon helped lead the 10,000man army as it fought its way back to Greece. Xenophon describes the campaign in Anabasis (The Expedition). Xenophon later fought for Sparta against the Persians. He died before 350 BC, and left a large surviving body of written work. The Art of Horsemanship begins by explaining the most important features of the war-horse, and how to avoid being cheated when purchasing one. I once asked a group of accomplished horsemen of my parents’ generation what was the first feature they looked at in a horse. A lady veteran of show ring and hunting field said she always inspected a horse’s front end first, because that was what she would see when she was riding. A man who had showed and raced said he initially looked at the back end, because it supplied propulsion. A third sage told how horse traders used to grab a horse’s tail first, on the theory that the tail was an extension of the backbone, and a weak tail indicated a problematic weak back. A trainer said he looked a horse in the eye first, because if he detected a bad attitude, any good points were worthless. The last person I asked was a celebrated blacksmith, who said he looked at feet before anything else. He cited the maxim: “No foot, no hoss.” Xenophon agrees with the blacksmith. Xenophon writes that the first things to look at are the horse’s feet. He does not like a flat foot with the frog touching the ground, but prefers a hollow hoof that “resounds like a cymbal as it strikes the ground.” Today’s blacksmiths and horsemen approve of a more low-lying and robust frog. The Greek word Xenophon uses for the horse’s frog literally means “swallow,” because he and his contemporaries thought its shape resembles a swallow’s forked tail. Modern horsemen agree with Xenophon that pasterns should be sloped, not “straight like a goat’s.” Xenophon recommends a high-headed type, with a neck that rises from the chest “like the cock’s.” He likes a stocky, short-coupled horse with a broad chest. He advises that the horse’s stones not be too large, indicating that he and his contemporaries rode stallions. Scholars believe these stallions and all horses of the time were less gentle than most of today’s equines. Xenophon says high withers make the rider’s seat surer and his grip on the shoulders stronger. The stirrup had not been invented. Greeks rode bareback or upon a cloth, which could be fastened by a girth under the belly. When I used to ride bareback, high withers made me uncomfortable. The Chinese invented the stirrup in the first few centuries AD. The Chinese terra cotta army created circa 200 BC has horses but no stirrups. Around that same time, sculptures in India show a stirrup precursor, a loop of leather slipped over the horse’s back with holes on either side in which a bare-footed rider fit his big toes for stability and support. The arrangement would be especially unsatisfactory in cold climates. The stirrup spread westward from China and reached Europe in the eighth century. Lack of stirrups made mounting a horse more challenging. Xenophon recommends grabbing the mane and swinging up, or else using a spear to pole vault astride. He stresses that the horse should keep still as the rider mounts. This must have required practice. Servants could also assist in hoisting the rider. Xenophon and his fellow Greeks did have leather bridles with metal bits. Xenophon advocates going with a light hand on the bit. I like to have as loose a
rein as possible when trail riding or hunting. When I took a dressage lesson, my teacher wanted me to continuously feel the horse’s mouth as if the reins were a string attached to a stick floating in the current of a stream. I spent little time in that arena. Xenophon advises picking up the reins and collecting the horse at turns, because making short turns at speed is neither easy nor safe. I have witnessed falls caused by sharp speedy turns in violation of the laws of physics. Xenophon says the rider should grab mane when jumping a ditch or going uphill so that the horse will not be “troubled by the bit.” In less relevant chapters, Xenophon discusses armor, weapons, and how to make a horse rear during parades so that his belly and sheath are visible to those in front. Expressing priceless timeless wisdom, Xenophon declares, “The one great precept and practice in using a horse is this: never deal with him when you are in a fit of passion.” Expert horsemen have told me, “Never lose your temper on a horse.” This can be difficult. Xenophon says when a horse is fearful of an object, compulsion and blows only inspire more fear. The challenge is to make the horse obey with firmness while maintaining emotional self-control. I have not yet mastered this. Xenophon’s ideal is a horse that is “sound footed, gentle, sufficiently fleet, ready and able to undergo fatigue and first and foremost, obedient.” This sounds like a good hunter prospect. Xenophon advises, “ If… you reward him with kindness after he has done as you wish, and punish him when he disobeys, he will most likely learn to obey as he ought.” This model endures. Xenophon’s On Hunting opens with a declaration that hunting is essential for the young. “The first efforts of a youth emerging from boyhood should be directed to the institution of the chase.” Hunting makes the young “sound of soul and upright.” When discussing the attributes of a good hound, Xenophon, as he does with horses, first states that the canine must have good feet. The hound’s ears should be “long and thin, without hair on the under side… neck long and flexible… chest broad… loins muscular… tail long straight and pointed… strong in build… at the same time light and active.” He could judge today’s hound shows. Xenophon’s model hound must possess a keen nose. Although primarily about hare hunting, the work mentions boars, lynxes, leopards, panthers and bears. He says if one happens to be trampled by a wild boar, the best defense is to lie on the ground to avoid the upward thrust of the boar’s tusks, and to hope that a friend will draw the boar’s attention. In Chapter VI, he commands, “Do not let your hounds get into the habit of hunting foxes. Nothing is so ruinous, and just at the moment when you want them, they will not be forthcoming.” My guess is that allowing hounds to enjoy the stronger scent of a fox would make them less interested in pursuing hare. “If the quarry makes off, there should be no shouting, that the hounds may not grow too eager and fail to discover the line.” (Chapter V.) A huntsman I know sought advice from a wise elder after his hounds could not run a particular fox. The wise elder asked the huntsman, “What were you doing? How did you get hounds to the line?” The answer, and the problem, was that excessive cheering and doubling of the horn had gotten hounds’ heads up and made them wild and unable to settle. A different huntsman on another occasion vociferously brought hounds up to a view. Their momentum coincided with the fox’s route, but they did not speak until they had rambled a hundred yards ahead. Some blamed the lapse on bad scenting conditions. Hounds only needed time and space to calm down and recover from clumsy handling. Sometimes huntsmen do need to assist and lift hounds forward to make a fox leave a covert and run. Knowing when and how much to use horn and voice is the art of venery. Xenophon speaks with unwarranted confidence about scent. He dubiously claims that the full moon will dull scent’s edge. He declares heavy dew and rain are bad for scent. This assertion would surprise the English and Irish. “Southerly winds will not improve scent, but being moisture laden disperse it.” I have heard experienced foxhunters make a similar claim about a south wind, but I have also seen hounds run in brilliant unawareness of this rule. I believe scent was as perplexing and unpredictable then as it is now. Foxhunters experience the benefits of hunting Xenophon cites, including: “health, which will thereby accrue to the physical frame, the quickening of the eye and ear, the defiance of old age…” Will Xenophon’s lessons still apply two thousand years from now?
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY â€¢ FALL 2018
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2018
CALENDAR Upcoming Events In and Around Horse Country Autumn is always a busy time in Horse Country. Here’s a list of some upcoming events. Junior North American Field Hunter Championship. Qualifying meets are held during hunt season, most scheduled from September through early November, but dates may vary depending on the hunting season in a given area. The finals will be hosted by Old Dominion Hounds, in Orlean, Virginia, over the weekend of November 10-11. Contact Marion Chungo: firstname.lastname@example.org, 540220-7292, www.jnafhc.com, Junior North American Field Hunter Championship on Facebook. Sept. 15-Oct. 14 Harness Racing at Shenandoah Downs, Woodstock, VA, every Saturday and Sunday, pari-mutuel wagering, races begin at 2:00 p.m. Information: 540-459-3867, www.shenandoahdowns.com Sept. 16 Deep Run Hunt Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Sunnyside Farm, Wilmington, VA, 9:00 a.m. Information: Lynn Richie 804-986-2944, DRHC.Pace@gmail.com, www.deeprunhuntclub.com Sept. 23 Bull Run Hunt Fall Fun Hunter Pace, The Preserve, Rapidan, VA, 9:00 a.m. Information: Rosie Campbell, MFH 540-268-7454, email@example.com, www.bullrunhunt.com Sept. 30 Casanova Hunt Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Winfall, Catlett, VA 9:00 a.m. Information: Janet Boots, 703-927-8532, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.casanovahunt.com Oct. 7 Keswick Hunt Club Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Bridlespur, Keswick, VA, 9:00 a.m. Information: Erica Stevens, 561-601-9531, email@example.com, www.keswickhuntclub.com Oct. 7 Foxfield Fall Race Meet, Foxfield Race Course, Charlottesville, VA 1:30 p.m. Information: 434-293-9501, www.foxfieldraces.com Oct. 7 Piedmont Hunter Trials & Virginia Field Hunter Championship, Salem Farm Showground, Upperville, VA 8:00 a.m. Contact Katy Carter, 571246-5029, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Oct. 8-13 North American Field Hunter Championship, Qualifying Hunts Oct. 8 – Oct. 11, Finals Oct. 13 at Glenwood Park, Middleburg, Va. Information: Karyn Wilson, 703-403-4884, Karynwilson.email@example.com, www.vafallraces.com Oct. 11-20 Pennsylvania National Horse Show, Harrisburg, PA. www.panational.org Oct. 13 Virginia Fall Race Meet, Glenwood Park, Middleburg, VA 1:00 p.m. Information: 540-687-9797, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.vafallraces.com Oct. 13-28 Virginia Hunt Week, Hunting with 15 different packs throughout Virginia (plus a shopping day at Horse Country Saddlery, Warrenton). www.vahuntweek.org Oct. 14 Warrenton Hunt Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Millpoint/Clovercroft, Warrenton, VA, 10:00 a.m. Information: Clydetta P. Talbot, 540-219-6562, email@example.com, www.warrentonhunt.com Oct. 21 Old Dominion Hounds Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Hinckley Memorial Field, Marshall, VA, 10:00 a.m. Debbie Welch (Information), Tim Colgan (entries) 540-631-8607, firstname.lastname@example.org www.olddominionhounds.weebly.com Oct. 23-28 Washington International Horse Show, Capital One Arena, Washington, DC. www.wihs.org Oct. 27 International Gold Cup, Great Meadow Course, The Plains, VA 12:30 p.m. Information: 540-347-2612, www.vagoldcup.com Oct. 28 Rappahannock Hunt Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Meadow Grove, Amissville, VA, 10:00 a.m. Information: Shannon deWit, 703-989-9545, email@example.com, www.rappahannockhunt.com Oct. 28 Orange County Hounds Team Chase Event, Old Whitewood Farm, The Plains, VA, 12:00 noon. Contact Pippy McCormick, firstname.lastname@example.org, 540-454-2852, or Helen Bretell, 540-270-3993 Nov. 3 Montpelier Race Meet, Montpelier Station, VA 12:30 p.m. Information: 540-672-0027, email@example.com, www.montpelierraces.org Nov. 4 Farmington Hunt Fall Fun Hunter Pace, Catterton Road, Free Union, VA, 9:00 a.m. Information: Kip Holloway 434-985-3482, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.farmingtonhunt.org
Cotton Tattersall Vest (LTV17) (HC1B)
RIDING APPAREL • COUNTRY CLOTHING • SADDLERY ESTATE JEWELRY • ANTIQUES • GIFTS • BOOKS, RARE BOOKS
Ladies' Chatham Tweed Jacket (LC43) (HC1A)
Ladies' Southdown Athene Tweed Jacket (LS41) (HC1C)
800-88-2-HUNT (4868) (540) 347-3141 60 Alexandria Pike, Warrenton, Virginia 20186
Ladies' Southdown Harris Tweed Jacket (LS42) (HC1D)
Store Hours: Monday–Friday 9AM - 6PM, Saturday 9AM - 5PM (ET) Shop online! www.HorseCountryCarrot.com All prices subject to change without notice. All items subject to availability. IAHC 09-2018
Shop online! www.HorseCountryCarrot.com
Moleskin Vest (LCV06) (HC2A)
Brandywine Formal Hunting Jacket (281-18-061) (HC2B)
HC2 HORSE COUNTRYÂ® 800-88-2-HUNT
All prices subject to change without notice. All items subject to availability. IAHC 09-2018
Visit us online! www.horsecountrylife.com
Shop online! www.HorseCountryCarrot.com
Horse Country Hats (HC3A) English Wraps, Shawls and Throws (HC3C)
Stewart Riding Boots (1132-530BR) (HC3B) Estate Bracelet (9200-002) (HC3D)
Estate Fox Crystal Pin (9345-012) (HC3E)
Dublin Horseshoe Bracelet (57-1000-BR) (HC3F)
Barbour Bedale Waxed Jacket (HC3K)
LeChameau Rubber Wellies, Made in France.(HC3G)
Viyella Men’s Shirt ( V34) (HC3H) Silk Tie (94893-PUR) (HC3J)
Visit us online! www.horsecountrylife.com
HORSE COUNTRY® 800-88-2-HUNT Not responsible for typographical errors. IAHC 09-2018
Shop online! www.HorseCountryCarrot.com
Tall Horsehead Vase (3621-RBG59C) (HC4E)
1930s Bronze Hunt Horn Sconce, pr. (4218-001) (HC4A)
Estate Hermes Smoke Set (999-22010) (HC4F)
Sterling Pheasant (977-058) (HC4B)
Tally Ho Vase (323-42-0227) (HC4D)
Sterling Fox (977-016) (HC4C)
Second Horse Wine Glass Set (471-HCGS02) (HC4G)
To WINCHESTER, I-66 & I-81
60 Alexandria Pike • Warrenton, Virginia 20186
CUSTOMER SERVICE AND INQUIRIES: (540) 347-3141 24 HOUR FAX: (540) 347-7141 For Orders Only: 800-88-2-HUNT(4868) Store Hours: Monday–Friday 9AM - 6PM, Saturday 9AM - 5PM (ET)
Visit us online! www.HorseCountryCarrot.com www.Facebook.com/HorseCountryLife
All prices subject to change without notice. Not responsible for typographical errors. All items subject to availability. IAHC 09-2018
W IN CH ES TE R
WATERLOO St. ss RT. 29/17 Bypa
(540) 347-3141 • 800-88-2-HUNT (4868)
To SPERRYVILLE & I-81 211
Rt. 17 By pass
17 Pk. DRIA ALEXAN
To WASHINGTON via I-66
To CULPEPER & CHARLOTTESVILLE
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2018
Chipmunks and Groundhogs and Squirrels…Oh My!
Bunsen! Bunsen! Are you sleeping? Wake up! Wha? Huh? Oh, ’tis you, lassie. I’m nae sleeping. I close me eyes to enhance me keen hearing. I see. And what about the snoring? Does that help? ‘Tis like a mantra. Helps me concentrate. Oooommm, Zzzzzz! Oooommm, Zzzzzz! Now that’s really annoying. How about you concentrate on me for a minute? I’ve been pondering the coming season and have heard that foxes are getting scarce, due to the shrinkage of open land. And it’s affecting rabbits, too. What are the foxhunters going to do without foxes to give them a merry chase? Aye, a dilemma for sure. I guess another wily animal will have to be pursued. My choice would be chipmunks. Crafty critters. I had two of ’em out-fox me this verra morning. Or should I say, out-munk me? I just can’t see Marion’s wonderful store swapping out our classic motifs because the quarry has changed from foxes to something else. It’s sad enough that foxes have been found on ladies’ underwear. But, seriously, a chipmunk doorknocker? I just can’t imagine it. Well, there are some chipmunks that have done verra well for themselves, like that famous singing group. What are their names? Ah, yes! I remember… Theodore, Simon, and ALVIN! You do know that those are cartoon characters, right? There’s really no such thing as talking and singing chipmunks. Of course I know that. Just as I know there’s really no such thing as talking Scottie dogs. Touché. But let’s get back to the matter of what foxhunters would chase if not foxes. Right. Y’know, I hear the situation’s gotten so bad in some places that the beaglers are chasing voles. Mmmm, maybe voles would make a decent substitute for foxes. Veritable speed demons, they are. Rodents? I mean, really…a vole is a cousin to a rat. You want people to start hunting rats on horseback with hounds? Well, then, how about squirrels? They’re not much for open field sprinting but in the woods they would be hard work to corner for any hound. That doesn’t seem fair, what with the difference in size between the squirrels and the hounds. Yes, but what if the squirrel could fly? I know of this one squirrel who not only talks but can also fly, and he hangs out with the kind of goofy moose and they… Let’s not go there. Oh, right. Also a cartoon character. I know…groundhogs! Eyes of an eagle, teeth of a beaver. A worthy adversary. I had my run-ins with them in the Old Country. There are groundhogs in Scotland? Aye, lassie, that there are! Did you know that Groundhog Day originated in Scotland? Allow me to use my world famous Johnny Carson voice: I did not know that! ’Tis true. Let’s see...how does the old saying go? “If Candlemas Day is bright and clear, there’ll be two winters in the year.” So, you have hunted them, eh? Can’t say I actively went after them but there were times when the two of us attempted to defy the laws of physics, ye might say. What does that mean? It means we both tried to be in the same space at the same time and we both limped away with our bruises. I’m sure you put up a noble fight, Bunsen. I wonder how a groundhog would taste? Well, I suppose he’d taste like any of us…with his tongue! Very funny. I meant how would groundhog meat taste. A bit greasy, so I am told. But that wouldn’t matter to a foxhound, as they don’t have the refined taste buds of the Scottish terrier. In other matters of taste, though, I might be able to stomach a chipmunk doorknocker, but a groundhog door-
Illustration: Claudia Coleman
knocker? I cannae even imagine such a thing! Well, I’ll run the chipmunk doorknocker idea by my Marion and see if it’s a viable alternative to the fox knockers we carry. She has all the fall and winter goods arriving as we speak. I know she likes to be in front of the curve with freshly designed goods. Hedgehogs were really popular last year. But I agree with you about groundhogs. Certainly not for a fashionable piece such as a scarf or sweater. Maybe on socks. Happily, though, we have plenty of other items that don’t have a quarry theme, like the classic hunt scene mugs. Here’s Marion now. Aga, Bunsen, we’re off to work. You two have to help Courtney, 14 cartons of hunting jackets arrived from England plus more fall jackets from Barbour. Today is a big ticketing day. Hurry! So much to do. Aga, you’re in charge. Bunsen, look! Down by the pool. A chipmunk. Let’s chase it! Arf, arf, arf. Ye go ahead, lassie. I think I’ll get back to my meditation. Zzzzzzz! Look at those two, one running off after a squirrel and the other sound asleep. I might as well ask a bunch of chipmunks to help at the store. Actually, now that I think about it, chipmunks are awfully cute. I wonder if anyone makes chipmunk doorknockers.
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2018
Piedmont Fox Hounds Old Welbourne, September 3, 2018, Joanne Maisano Photos
Johnny Dean, Professional Whipper-In. Caroline and Jack Helmly.
Huntsman Jordan Hicks.
Blue Ridge Hunt
Creekside Farm, September 2, 2018 Joanne Maisano Photos
The Kennels, September 1, 2018 Joanne Maisano Photos
Hounds are cast as (far right, in red) Professional Whipper-in Sheri Buston and (far left, in red) Honorary Whipper-In Ashten Sfarnas prepare for action. In the middle (in green) is Mia Caines, visiting from England. Blue Ridge Huntsman Graham Buston leads hounds Behind them the field readies for the day’s sport to begin. from kennels to the morning’s first draw. Laurie McClary, having a fun morning with Snickersville Hounds on the first day of autumn hunting from Gregg Ryan’s Creekside Farm.
Molly White, Snickersville Hounds.
Orange County Hounds Oakendale, September 8, 2018
Neil Morris, MFH, Orange County Hounds, leads the field over the first jump at Oakendale. Liz Callar photo
Glen Epstein, Orange County Hounds. Joanne Maisano photo
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2018
Two Virginians Doing Well in the National Spotlight By J. Harris Anderson, Managing Editor It’s been a good summer for two top-level trainers, both of whom grew up in Fauquier County. On Saturday, August 25, Catholic Boy, trained by Jonathan Thomas, breezed to a four-length victory in the $1.25 million Runhappy Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga. The same day, trainer Chuck Lawrence saw all his hard work pay off as Glorious Empire went gate-to-wire to take the $1 million Sword Dancer Stakes (G1T), also at Saratoga. Thomas and Lawrence come from old Virginia working horse-centered families and began their careers in similar fashion—riding ponies from dawn to dusk, competing in local races from an early age, and paying their dues as they rose through the ranks to establish themselves as trainers to be reckoned with. Jonathan Thomas had the unique advantage of growing up on Paul Mellon’s legendary Rokeby Farm in Upperville, where his parents worked with Mellon’s horses. He was 13 when homebred Sea Hero won the Kentucky Derby in 1993. He has memories of Mr. Mellon occasionally picking him up from the school bus stop. Thomas began riding “backyard races” at 15 and became a professional steeplechase jockey soon thereafter, riding for the likes of Hall of Fame trainer Jack Fisher. But a serious accident three years into his career ended his chances of continuing to compete in the saddle. Once sufficiently recovered, he accepted a position as assistant trainer to Fisher at Saratoga. From there he moved on to serve for four years as assistant trainer for Christophe Clement, followed by a year as trainer in Saudi Arabia. It was then back to the States when an offer came to serve as assistant to Todd Pletcher. He spent six years with Todd, then one year assisting J.J. Pletcher, Todd’s father, in Ocala, Florida. From there he launched his own career as head trainer. Thomas now works out of Bridlewood Farm in Ocala where he has 40 horses in training and oversees another 200 young horses and layups. Thomas notched his first G1 win as a trainer on the turf last year and with Catholic Boy’s victory in the Travers, Thomas now adds his first G1 win on dirt, accomplishments many other trainers of his generation have yet to achieve. Chuck Lawrence hails from Marshall, Virginia, little more than “a stone’s throw” from Upperville. Like Jonathan Thomas, Chuck was born into the horse business. His father, the late Jim Lawrence, was a veteran trainer and horseman. Chuck recalls riding his pony Lil Fritz (named after his grandfather) in local races such as Old Dominion and Rappahannock. He went on to win two National Steeplechase Association jockey championships over the course of his 122-win career. His first came in 1989 when he had 27 wins from 104 rides under the direction of Hall of Fame trainer Burley Cocks. He notched his second NSA championship in ’93, racking up 21 wins, among them victories in the New York Turf Writers Cup, the A.P. Smithwick Memorial, and Temple Gwathmey. His final accolade came in 1994 when he piloted Warm Spell to that year’s Eclipse Award as champion steeplechaser. Around that time Lawrence was considering his options for his postjockey days and taking out a trainer’s license seemed like the natural transition. Now based primarily out of Fair Hill, Maryland, Chuck can boast almost 400 winners including several stakes horses. His win in the G1T Sword Dancer Stakes with Glorious Empire at Saratoga is yet another impressive step in his long and successful career. Lil Fritz would be proud of him.
Chuck Lawrence, with daughter Ashby and son Chase, following Glorious Empire’s win in the Sword Dancer Stakes (G1T) at Saratoga, August 25, 2018. Adam Coglianese photo
Liz Callar www.smugmug.com
Jonathan Thomas is all smiles following Catholic Boy’s win at Saratoga on August 25, 2018, in the Runhappy Travers Stakes (G1). Adam Coglianese photo
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2018
2018 Fall Racing Preview By Will O’Keefe The start of the Virginia Fall steeplechase circuit is less than a month away, and this year the purses offered at the four Virginia Fall Hunt Meets will total at least $785,000. This will be a new record for purse distribution, and exceeds last year’s record total by $45,000. The Virginia Equine Alliance has generously supplemented each of the 2018 Virginia Sanctioned Race Meets’ purse structures by $25,000. The Foxfield Fall Races will be held at the Foxfield Race Course near Charlottesville on Sunday, October 7. This year the race meet will run a week later than the traditional late September fall date. The race card will be made up of a $30,000 maiden hurdle race, two more maiden races over hurdles, and two more races on the flat. One of these two additional maiden hurdle races is for horses running for a claiming price and the other is for fillies and mares. One of the flat races is restricted to horses sired or bred in Virginia. Six days later on Saturday, October 13, the Virginia Fall Races will be run over the popular Glenwood Park Race Course near Middleburg. This year’s card of races will feature the $40,000 National Sporting Library and Museum Timber Stakes. Additional races will be run over hurdles and the steeplethon course and on the flat. The popular steeplethon is back after a year off. This meet provides
a great opportunity for trainers to prepare for the Far Hills Races and the International Gold Cup Races. Some of the best horses in training will be on hand especially to contest the timber stakes and the training flat race. On Saturday, October 27, the International Gold Cup Races will be run over the Great Meadow race course near The Plains. This race meet is run under Virginia Racing Commission rules, which allows access to the Virginia Equine Alliance’s fund for purses. The purse for the International Gold Cup timber stakes will be $75,000 and the David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial hurdle stakes will also be $75,000. These two races have the biggest purses on the fall Virginia steeplechase circuit. There will be six other races on the card, which will include the highly popular steeplethon that will be run as a stakes race offering a $40,000 purse. Two more races over hurdles and three on the flat round out the card with every purse $30,000 or more. There is no race course in America that can rival the setting of the Montpelier Hunt Race Course. With President James Madison’s home providing the classic backdrop, the Montpelier Hunt Races will be held at Montpelier Station near Orange on Saturday, November 3. The $35,000 Noel Laing hurdle handicap is the only remaining race in the United States run over natural hedges. The first race is a flat race for Virginia Bred or Sired horses and will be run over the dirt training track with spectators lining the rail. There will also be hurdle races for maidens and maiden claimers, a ratings handicap hurdle race and an allowance race for fillies and mares.
2018 Virginia Steeplechase Association Standings Through Virginia Gold Cup Races OPEN LEADING OWNER 1. Irvin Naylor 2. Rosbrian Farm Ballybristol Farm LLC 4. Michael Smith 5. Sara Collette
29 10 10 9 8
OPEN LEADING RIDER 1. Jack Doyle 2. Darren Nagle 3. Ross Geraghty 4. Gerard Galligan 5. Barry Foley
27 21 20 17 15
OPEN LEADING TRAINER 1. Cyril Murphy 2. Ricky Hendriks 3. Neil Morris 4. Jonathan Sheppard 5. Leslie Young
23 21 17 16 13
VSA LEADING OWNER 1. Michael Smith 2. Sara Collette 3. Riverdee Stable 4. Magalen Bryant William Russell
9 8 6 5 5
VSA LEADING TRAINER 1. Neil Morris 2. Jimmy Day Julie Gomena Richard Valentine 5. Doug Fout
17 10 10 10 5
VSA LEADING RIDER 1. Shane Crimin 2. Kieran Norris
VSA LEADING HURDLE HORSE 1. Mercoeur (Fr) (Michael Smith) Personal Start (Magalen Bryant) 3. Holiday Mousse (William Russell) 4. Balance the Budget (Stonelea Stables LLC) 5. All the Way Jose (Buttonwood Farm) 3 Balistes (Sara Collette) OPEN LEADING HURDLE HORSE 1. Mercoeur (Fr) (Michael Smith) Personal Start (Magalen Bryant) Lyonell (Ger) (Robert Kinsley) 4. Hardrock Eleven (Virginia Lazenby Racing Stable LLC) Willow U (Check Mark Stables LLC) Officer Sydney (Ire) (Rosbrian Farm) Quarla (Eve Ledyard) Holiday Mousse (William Russell) Zanjabeel (GB) (Rosbrian Farm, Benjamin and Wendy Griswold) Iranistan (Hudson River Farms) OPEN LEADING TIMBER HORSE 1. Andi'amu (Fr) (Ballybristol Farm LLC) 2. Super Saturday (Irvin Naylor) 3. Le Chevalier (Michael Smith) 4. Zanclus (Sara Collette) 5. Boogie Biz (Happenstance and Harry)
7 7 5 4 3 7 7 7 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 12 11 10 7 5
VSA LEADING TIMBER HORSE 1. Le Chevalier (Michael Smith) 2. Zanclus (Sara Collette) 3. Triton Light (Nicki Valvo) 4. Cognashene (PathFinder Racing)
10 7 4 3
VSA LEADING HORSE ON THE FLAT 1. Eryx (Sara Collette) 2. Overwhelming (Woodslane Farm) Officer's Oath (S. Bruce Smart, Jr.) 4. Amigo (Julie Nettere)
5 3 3 1
Kissing Horses May Not Be a Good Idea By Dr. Todd Addis, VMD I was recently browsing through an issue of In & Around Horse Country where I noticed a photo of a woman kissing her horse. Now I’m sure these two had a very solid, safe relationship. But the image stirred my brain to recall a cautionary tale about kissing horses. Several years ago a veterinarian colleague of mine had the unpleasant experience of repairing a wound on a two-year-old colt. Just as he was cleaning up, the horse’s owner entered the stable, walked up to her youngster, and gave him a kiss. Rather than kissing her back, the young stud colt responded with what he may have considered a playful nip. Whatever his intention, the result was that he bit off a substantial portion of the woman’s lower lip. Blood flew everywhere. The stable man quickly placed the colt back in the stall and rushed the lip-less lady to the hospital. Cool and collected, the vet thought just maybe the lip could be sewed back on—if he could find it. He searched the area with no results. His sense led him to the two-year-old’s mouth where he found the severed lip. Rather than throw it in the wheelbarrow, he walked the lifeless lip out to his practice truck, opened a sterile bottle of saline, dropped it in, and rushed it to the hospital. The surgery was a success. The moral of this story is if you are going to kiss your horse, make sure your vet or horse handler knows to look in the animal’s mouth for your severed lip. Or, better still, keep your lips clear of a horse’s mouth—especially a youngster who has just undergone a stressful medical procedure!
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2018
STEEPLECHASING Douglas Lees Memories and Latest Award
(l-r) Trainer Lucien Laurin, Penny Chenery, Eddie Sweat, and Ron Turcotte in the irons.
1972 Sanford Stakes Winners Circle: Penny Chenery, who passed away in 2017 at the age of 95, was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame at Saratoga, New York, on August 3, 2018. Douglas Lees took this photo in 1972 (the summer after he graduated from college) following Secretariat’s first stakes win, the Sanford at Saratoga, the year before he went on to win 1973’s Triple Crown. Raymie Woolfe: Raymond G. (Raymie) Woolfe, Jr., who, among other accomplishments, made his mark as a photographer, author, and racecourse designer, passed away on May 10, 2018. At the age of 16 he became the youngest jockey at the time to win a stakes race at a New York track when he won the Saratoga Steeplechase. Following service in the U.S. Marines and after earning a degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina, he took up photojournalism. He covered the 1965 Grand National for Sports Illustrated and went on to a long and distinguished career with the Daily Racing Form. Woolfe wrote three highly acclaimed books: Secretariat, Steeplechasing, and Doomed Horse Soldiers of Bataan—The Incredible Stand of the 26th Cavalry. Another achievement was starting the Foxfield Races, for which he designed the course. Douglas Less photo Rainy Winner: Photographer Douglas Lees has added another notch to his string of prestigious awards for his outstanding work. His “Rainy Winner” shot, which shows a mud-splattered but smiling Gus Dahl aboard Irvin Naylor’s Ebanour (held by Beth Supick) after winning the 2017 Virginia Gold Cup, was given the nod by American Horse Publications as the 2018 Best Freelance Editorial Photograph. (The photo initially appeared in the May 29, 2017, issue of The Chronicle of the Horse.) In addition to previous honors from the AHP, Lees is also a two-time winner of the prestigious Eclipse Award from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. In & Around Horse Country is fortunate to include Douglas among our dedicated team of talented photographers and we congratulate him on this most recent honor.
REMEMBRANCE Col. Rex Denny, Jr., MFH 1924-2018 Col. Rex Denny, Jr., who founded Cloudline Hounds in his native Celeste, Texas, passed away on August 9, 2018, at the age of 94. “The Colonel,” as he was affectionately called, earned the title from a highly distinguished 31-year career as an aviator in the U.S. Marine Corps. He flew combat missions in the Pacific Theater in World II, after which he became one of the first USMC helicopter pilots, the first ever to be certified in both fixed wing and rotary aircraft. He went on to serve in the Korean War, flying both attack aircraft and helicopters. Then came two tours in Vietnam. Col. Rex Denny, Jr. By the time he retired from the Marine Corp in 1973, Denny had received numerous awards and medals, including the Bronze Star with Combat V, Legion of Merit, and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Upon returning to Celeste, Rex and his wife Marjorie founded Cloudline Hounds in 1974. The original hounds were drafted from the Casanova Hunt, who generously encouraged the Dennys in their new pursuit. The expansive and varied country, which includes a number of steep ditches and water crossings, requires fast, hardy, courageous, and biddable hounds bred for this purpose. For many years Rex hunted the hounds while Marjorie served as First Flight Field Master. He was a valuable resource for other huntsmen and for the MFHA in sharing the nuances of hunting coyote, who are increasingly encroaching on what was traditional fox county. At the age of 70 he handed over the huntsman’s duties to daughter Susan Denny Gentry, who continues to serve in that role, carrying on the family legacy along with her husband Craig and their son Rex Hamilton Gentry.
Col. Rex and Marjorie Denny, founders of Cloudline Hounds (TX), circa 1975. The hunt was started in 1974 and recognized by the MFHA in 1979. Some of the hounds shown here were among those drafted from Casanova Hunt (VA). Photo courtesy of the Denny family
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2018
Your Horse’s Final Farewell By Lauren R. Giannini Sooner or later, you’re going to bid fond adieu to your beloved horse, pony, mule, hound, dog, cat, bird, iguana, fish—whatever fills your heart with joy. Maybe you had some warning: encroaching old age or the animal got injured or expired from a chronic or sudden illness. One hopes for the end to come neatly and naturally, but all too often we call the veterinarian, hoping for a cure, a miracle, a stay of execution, so to speak. Horses, magnificently larger than life itself, are also relatively fragile. All too often the most merciful option is euthanasia. Tough choices are familiar territory to anyone who spends time around outdoor animals and/or house pets. People who move from urban or suburban areas to live in the country, where life is very different, are in for some shocks, especially those leaping into the excitement and fun of equestrian activities. Losing a beloved animal is hard, but it helps to be prepared. After all, you’re responsible for your animal’s earthly remains. Here’s a look at the options. Pet Demise 101 Animal Mortality Management is a dignified title for carcass disposal, which is the responsibility of the animal’s owner. By law, you have 48 hours to dispose of the remains. You don’t have all the time in the world, because within minutes following that last breath, even with the body still warm, decay sets in. Unless it’s very cold out, it won’t take long for the dearly departed to start to swell with gases and also stink. Because horses pose the biggest challenge—pun absolutely intended—they are the focus of this article. It all comes down to size. The smaller the animal, the easier it is to find an appropriate resting place. Kids who grow up with animals honor their small pets with solemn backyard burials and thereby gain some familiarity with death and grief. You can’t just bury horses wherever it strikes your fancy—not even if you live in the country and own land. Being prepared means getting familiar with the local regulations pertinent to Animal Mortality Management where you live and/or keep your horses. There are many useful online resources about this hefty subject, and you can’t beat the information online, especially the publications from the Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE), in cooperation with the Department of Environmental Quality, and the Cornell Waste Management Institute (links provided at the end). You’ll need to visit the website for your state in order to access regulations about where and how for your deceased animal, but the most important information will be found on your particular county’s website. Bookmark pages, but also make it easy on yourself and print out whatever you need for safekeeping in a labeled folder so it’s easy to locate when that final farewell arrives. The VCE lists the accepted methods of mortality management in the following order of preference: rendering, on-site composting, concentrated animal composting (at a permitted facility), incineration (cremation), landfill burial, and on-site burial. How your big animal passes is a factor, because euthanasia’s lethal injection, which is administered based on weight, lingers in the system long after death. The animal’s decaying flesh can cause a scavenger of any species to sleep for 24 hours or more, possibly even die. During the breakdown of organic matter, those lethal drugs can seep into the ground and potentially contaminate a nearby water source. It’s important to be very careful with livestock remains, especially if lethal drugs were the cause of death. On-Site Burial For many, burial is the most desirable option even if it’s in last place on the list of preferred methods. However, burial of livestock, which includes equids, cattle, etc, isn’t always legal even if you, a neighbor, best friend, or your boarding facility owns the land. If county regulations allow on-site burial, there will be guidelines for siting that grave. New RCs (rural converts) might want to make friends with a neighbor who owns a backhoe. Be sure to share the specifics for the hole. For example, in Virginia, the depth of the grave must not exceed six feet, and at least two feet of compacted soil must cover the remains. You also want to avoid burying Dobbin near sources of water (another good search for your browser). If you don’t live on a farm or board at a facility where livestock can be buried, you still have options—some more expensive than others. The remains are not the spirit of the animal, and you might have to be pragmatic about what
Janet Hitchen photo
you’re going to do with the cadaver. That recent dearly departed, whatever its species, is already nestled into its final resting place, your heart. Composting & Landfill Burial Composting is a form of recycling, and many gardeners turn kitchen garbage into mulch. Equines can also be composted. Please check that your county permits on-site composting. It sounds easy, but chemicals are involved to turn the “animal mortality back into stable soil nutrients”; it’s like a bio-chem experiment, so please get educated if you’re into DIY. Online search will result in complete guides, plus there will be FAQs and specialists to contact. Just one caveat: dogs aren’t the only omnivores out there great at sniffing out and digging up carcasses emitting enticing aromas. Bad enough if it’s wildlife digging up Dobbin, but worse if it’s your dogs and hounds loving the stinky stuff. It isn’t very pleasant to deal with the sight or smell, so if composting appeals albeit not DIY, check to see if you’re near a permitted facility for concentrated animal composting. Another option is landfill burial, which is exactly what it sounds like. Found mostly in rural counties, landfills that take dead animals are a no frills final resting place. This might not appeal to most people, but it depends on the state of one’s finances and emotions. It’s a reasonable solution. Cremation This is where cost goes up. For a vet to euthanize usually costs $200-350 but we’ve seen higher, adding to any prior treatment expenses incurred, which might have involved an emergency call. If incineration or cremation is your preference, you’ll find these services for large animals scattered here and there. Some will pick up the remains, others prefer that you handle the transportation, whether the horse is already demised or to be put down at the facility by a vet. Each crematory offers service packages, but the big question is individual or group cremation. Cost of cremation, which is separate from vet bills and transport, is determined by weight for large animals. You will have the choice of individual or group cremation, but ask if you will get back mixed ashes from the group cremation. Quite often, the group cremains are taken to the woods or some spot in nature and spread out on the ground. The group option costs a bit less than the individual. Agape Pet Services, founded in 2003 by Peter Anderson and Daniel Franklin, DVM, provides large and small animal cremation from their original location in Boonesboro, Maryland, as well as two newer ones in Sandston, Virginia, and Siler, North Carolina. Committed to Agape’s mission of providing pet services with empathy and experience, they designed and built their equipment to transfer the deceased animals with dignified ease into the crematory. To avoid putting anyone’s beloved animal into a black plastic cadaver bag, discarded into a landfill after one use, they developed transport bags of blue nylon with a rubber lining that can be re-used after a spin in a commercial washer. Agape charges $1.00 per pound for individual cremation, 80 cents per pound for group. That does not include the charge if you want your equid transported to Agape for you.
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2018
In Memoriam Pet Services, Chantilly, Va., offers dog, cat, and large animal cremations, serving Virginia, the District of Columbia, Maryland, and West Virginia. Family founded, owned, and operated, their location puts them right in the midst of development on the edges of Fairfax and Loudoun Counties, with an astounding population of small and large animals within a 30-mile arc westward that encompasses sprawling equestrian and agricultural communities. In Memoriam’s services for small and large animals include individual and group cremation. Individual cremation of equines costs 85 cents per pound, whereas group cremation of equids is 65 cents per pound. In Memoriam is committed to keeping their services affordable for local communities as well as outlying areas. Cats, dogs, and other small pets are priced according to what the pet’s people want in terms of the memorial urn, accessories, and service. Cremating a beloved pet, even a horse, means cremains. You can choose to keep some, scatter some or all. Both Agape and In Memoriam offer an amazing inventory of memorial containers and plaques that run the gamut from simple to fancy. Some are works of art that would take pride of place in your home. Rendering & Other Options Rendering has become a huge business. It provides a perfectly acceptable type of recycling for a price. Even in the most densely populated areas, people keep ponies and horses on miniscule plots of ground. Rendering is a practical option, but it means that Dobbin’s remains could be turned into products such as biofuel, fertilizer, soap, etc. Be sure to ask if the rendering plant serving your area accepts horses. Also check with them regarding their policy for the presence of de-wormers, antibiotics, and drugs used for euthanasia in recently demised livestock. Valley Proteins has grown into one of the USA’s largest rendering companies since 1949 when Clyde Smith started his family business in Winchester, Va. Their locations dot the entire East Coast from Florida to Pennsylvania, plus Georgia, Tennessee, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Valley Proteins does collect equids and other livestock—no matter what drugs might be in their systems. “Because we sell fat to the bio-diesel market this concern is minimized,” said Michael Smith, vice-Chairman of Valley Proteins. “We hold and test our products before releasing them for sales. If a product tests positive, it is kept out of the animal feed lines and put into the commercial grade lines primarily for alternative fuel. With the high combustion temperatures, the compounds are destroyed.”
If rendering isn’t what you want for Dobbin, contact your local hunt and ask if they feed flesh. Some might feed raw, others might butcher and cook it. There’s a centuries-long tradition of deceased horses going to the hounds. It’s considered a worthy finish to a field hunter’s life. When hunts feed flesh, the livestock must not have been put down with a lethal injection. Hunts often accept donations, with advance notice, of horses or cattle that are either freshly demised or alive (even barely) to be put down at the kennels by the huntsman. Some hunts are located in close proximity to someone’s home. Casanova Huntsman Tommy Lee Jones will accept as many donations as the hounds can eat from mid-October through mid-April, but not during the warmer months, because of the kennels’ proximity to the main residence at Weston in Casanova. Another option is taxidermy, but this 3-dimensional version will cost beaucoup bucks. Estimates gleaned from the internet range from several thousand to $15,000 or more—about the cost of another wunder-pony, but if you have the means, why not? The internet coughed up tons of information, but it seems that horses are difficult to do well. So, if you choose this route, please do serious homework to find the right person to stuff your beloved pony, because the whole point of taxidermy is for Dobbin to look like Dobbin. The bottom line is that we all want our animals to live a really long time so we don’t have to deal with bidding them fond adieux. Once those luminous eyes grow dull, it’s all common sense horsemanship to deal with the remains. It might help to remember what was noted earlier, that the spirit of your beloved animal, however big or small, has the most perfect final resting place: your heart. Helpful Links: http://cwmi.css.cornell.edu/horsefs.pdf https://pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/2909/2909-1412/29091412_pdf.pdf https://ecommons.cornell.edu/bitstream/handle/1813/29008/horsefs.pdf?sequence=2&isAllowed=y
Warrenton Hunt hounds eager to be back to work on the first day of autumn hunting, September 8, 2018, from the kennels at Elway. Michael Stevens photo
IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • FALL 2018
Horses and People to Watch Virginia Equine Alliance
Recap Of Virginia Thoroughbred Breeder’s $27,500 Yearling Futurity, Held August 29th At Warrenton Horse Show Grounds Ned Moore and Jill Gordon-Moore’s Blazeaway dark bay/brown colt captured Grand Champion honors at the $27,500 Virginia Breeder’s Yearling Futurity, held at the Warrenton Horse Show Grounds August 29th. He also won top honors in the Colt & Gelding division. The event featured competitions in both the Virginia-Bred/Sired Colt & Gelding and Filly classes, in addition to the new Certified class as well. A breakfast kicked off the morning festivities and a seminar featuring Futurity Judge Jonathan Thomas followed. Thomas’s three-year-old horse Catholic Boy most recently won the Grade I Travers Stakes and the Grade I Belmont Derby Invitational. He is the son of Virginia Equine Alliance Track Superintendent J.D. Thomas. Moore’s yearling champ is by Jump Start out of Blazeaway by Proud Citizen. In the colt and gelding class, More Twirl, bred and owned by Quest Realty was second and Matsuda, bred and owned by Helen Masek, took third. The former is by Twirling Candy out of Lucy Stragmore by Tale of the Cat while the latter is by Midas Touch out of Tangerine Mimosa by Hansel.
The Yearling Futurity Grand Champion is pictured with (l-r) Cindy Curtis, Susie Hart, Diana McClure, Ned Moore. and Jill Gordon-Moore. Richard Clay photo
Breeders Patricia Ramey and Maciej Szwarc saw their Virginia-Certified colt Beach Traffic win top honors as Reserve Grand Champion in addition to winning the Certified class. He is by Cross Traffic out of Pink Sand by Sky Mesa. A pair of yearlings bred and owned by Riverview Farm LLC took second and third in the Certified Class. River Beauty RVF (by Astrology out of Lost in the Woods by Forest Danger) was runner-up and River Dreamer RVF (by Warrior’s Reward out of Debra’s Dream by Reprized) followed. Morgan’s Ford Farm’s Cat Alert bay filly and their Occasionally gray filly took first and second place honors in the Fillies division. The winner is by Tapizar out of Cat Alert by Tabasco Cat while the runner-up is by Liams Map out of Beach Traffic, the Yearling Futurity Reserve Grand Champion, Occasionally by is pictured with (l-r) Brooke Royster, Patricia Ramey, and JunTizon. Owaw’s Emior Johnson. Richard Clay photo press, bred and owned by Rene Woolcott/Woodslane Farm, took third. She is by Bodemeister out of Oh What a Windfall by Seeking the Gold. Virginia Governor Signs Historic Horse Racing Legislation At Colonial Downs Governor Ralph Northam signed legislation to allow horse racing in Virginia at a ceremony held at Colonial Downs Racetrack June 22nd that was attended by hundreds. The event, held in front of the main entrance and on the front lawn, was the first at the New Kent track since it closed after the 2014 fall harness meet. The actual horse racing bill was signed in April after the General Assembly passed the new measure, but the ceremonial signing allowed officials to publicly highlight what the Governor called “a momentous occasion for the Virginia racing industry and New Kent County. It’s such a good day for Virginia,” he continued, “We’re getting back on track if you will, and getting horse racing up and running again.” Included in the crowd were industry participants, local citizens, and racing fans. The legislation is a key revenue stream for new Colonial Downs owners, Chicago-based Revolutionary Racing. The machines, which will be based at the track and in ten Off Track Betting Centers where pari-mutuel wagering referendums are in place, will let players bet on past horse races using terminals. According to an analysis released by the company, the facility could have an economic impact of $349.1 million when Colonial Downs reaches full capacity in 2022. It could support 1,400 jobs and produce $41.7 million in state and local taxes.
No Refunds Becomes First Bonus Winner In New Virginia Certified Residency Program Bird Mobberley’s No Refunds became the first horse to win a bonus in the new Virginia Certified Residency Program when the two-year-old filly kicked off the June 30th card at Laurel with her first ever victory. The Maryland-bred scored in gate-towire fashion in a $40,000 maiden special weight race. “Winning the first bonus from the certified program was exciting,” said Mobberly. “I was nervous because it was a very hot afternoon at Laurel. Two of the seven horses in the race were scratched after they slipped in the gate. The other horses had to be reloaded two separate times and by the process of elimination, my horse became Maryland-bred No Refunds became the first horse to win a bonus courtesy the favorite.” of the new Virginia-Certified ResiWith the victory, Mobberley scored a dency Program. Jim McCue photo 25% Virginia-certified owners bonus in addition to the $29,640 winner’s share of the purse, which included some Maryland Breeders Fund money as well. A horse is eligible for a bonus if it maintains residency in Virginia for any six month consecutive period prior to December 31st of its two-year-old year. It must maintain that residency at a Virginia-Certified Farm or Training Center. No Refunds was one of four horses Mobberley’s trainer, John Salzman, Jr., sent to Stephanie Nixon’s Horseshoe Hill Farm in Ashland, Virginia, last July to become eligible for the residency program. “They normally would send horses in September or October but because of the new program, they sent them earlier,” said Nixon. “I’ve been breaking horses for the Salzman’s for the last 15 years. They are my main clients. Their business over the years allowed me to build a new barn at the farm.” Nixon said the Mobberley family have always been “old school” when it comes to horsemanship and they take pride in that. “Gretchen, Bird’s mother who passed away two years ago, galloped horses until she was 82 years old. They are great people and it was a thrill to be part of that first certified program win, and especially for a Maryland-bred horse.” A list of Virginia Certified training centers and farms can be found at www.vabred.org. Owners of those Virginia-Certified horses are then eligible for a 25% bonus for non-Virginia restricted wins at Mid-Atlantic racetracks (NY, NJ, PA, MD, WVA, DE). Appearance By All Time Leading Money Earning Horse Highlights Fall Harness Racing Season At Shenandoah Downs The third annual harness racing season at Shenandoah Downs in Woodstock, Virginia, th kicks off September 15 and continues every Saturday and Sunday through October 14th. Special cards will be offered on Monday, October 8th, and Friday, October 12th. One big difference fans will notice this year is a new post time. The first race will be pushed back an hour to 2:00 pm as opposed to last year’s 1:00 pm start time. “We felt the later start time would give fans more of a chance to complete their regular weekend errands and rituals and, as a result, have a better chance to come out and enjoy an afternoon at the races,” said Virginia Equine Alliance Executive Director Jeb Hannum. Parking and admission remain free, and wagering will be offered in the main grandstand area. Win, place, show, exacta, trifecta and superfecta betting will be available. Past performance programs can be purchased for $2. Fans will have a chance to enjoy “one of a kind” experiences, like owning a horse for a day, taking a ride in the starter’s car during an actual race, and even riding in a double-seated sulky behind the horse in an exhibition race. On September 22nd and October 6th, five lucky fans from the crowd will be drawn at random to “own” a horse competing in a $3,000 race. They will get to meet their horse, trainer, and driver, take pictures of the occasion and, most importantly, keep the amount of purse money their horse wins in that race. The season’s highlight will take place on Saturday, September 29th, when harness racing’s top money earning horse ever will appear for a Meet & Greet session with fans, then compete in a pari-mutuel race. Foiled Again is the star attraction—a 14-year-old pacer who has bankrolled over $7.5 million in his spectacular career. He won his 100th race on July 6th this year and he has made 317 starts. ”This is such a great and unique opportunity for racing fans in the area,” said Shenandoah Downs Race Secretary, Dee Lineweaver. “Foiled Again is a racing legend.” Shenandoah Downs is located in Woodstock, Virginia, halfway between Winchester and Harrisonburg on I-81 at Exit 283. The track itself is located at the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds. A number of hotels and restaurants are located within a half mile of the exit and Fairgrounds. No Concert and driver Chuck Perry collect a win at Shenandoah Downs in Woodstock, Virginia. Dee Leftwich photo
HORSE COUNTRY BOOKSELLERS Specialists in New, Old & Rare Books on Horses, Foxhunting, Eventing, Polo, Racing, Steeplechasing & Sporting Art 60 Alexandria Pike, Warrenton, VA 20186 • 800-882-HUNT • 540-347-3141 Sister Jane lovers, rejoice! The next in the series will be out November 20! of Queen Victoria. As a young teenager, India served as a bridesmaid to Princess Diana at her wedding. Her mother was a bridesmaid to Queen ElizAnd Felix Francis also has another novel due out this October. abeth. Those of you who are readers of People magazine or the tabloids should Brown, Rita Mae. Homeward Hound. The next in the Sister Jane series begins enjoy this insider’s view of high society! It’s very interesting reading—and I with a murder during the Christmas festivities. Hardcover, 365pp. $27.00 Due doubt very much you will find anything in it that Her Majesty would disapout November 20! prove. The endpapers contain the pedigree of the royal family from Queen Victoria to the present generation and also prove quite enlightening. HardCarroll, Linda; and David Rosner. Out of the Clouds. Among the many Thor- cover, 223pp. $50.00 oughbreds who rose to star status in the mid-1900s was a Man-o-War descendent bred by the great King Ranch in Texas and trained by a former pigeon Holden, Linda Jane; and Roger Foley. The Gardens of Bunny Mellon. Due fancier. The horse was a chestnut claimer named Stymie; the trainer was out late this October is a beautiful coffee-table size book featuring some of Hirsch Jacobs. Stymie was the “people’s favorite”—not as well known today the gardens designed by Bunny Mellon, whose best known was probably the as some of the others in whose company he raced, such as War Admiral and White House redo of the East Garden and Rose Garden during the Kennedy Assault—but he still managed to be a highest-earnings winner one year. The era. Hardcover, 272pp. $60.00 authors have woven an enthralling tale of times when racing was at its most popular, with notable characters in all aspects of the sport from bettors down Rizzoli, pub. Horses/Portraits by Derry Moore. Having never heard of this to the horses themselves. It was a time of betting chicanery and questionable photographer, I had to resort to reading the back of the dust jacket to find out if not downright illegal training practices, sometimes influenced by mob in- that he has produced a number of lovely volumes (check out his website!) but terference. Jacobs himself was a very likeable character, honest and caring of is not specifically known as a horse photographer, unlike Robert Vavra, so his horses, and he had a knack for taking rundowns and claimers and turning well known from his ethereally beautiful horse photos. For a few years it them into winning horses. Hardcover, 310pp. $27.00 seems to be the fashion in large photographic horse books to use parts of horses, blurry images, and other “artsy” images, usually including a view of Francis, Felix. Crisis. Harrison Foster, a crisis manager for a London firm, is the horse from the side or rear with the head turned around to produce an adsummoned to the site of a stable fire in Newmarket which takes the life of six mittedly artistic curve in the body, eying the photographer across his back. valuable horses, including a Derby favorite, and an unidentified human. Rep- You will not find this type of photograph here! Instead you will for the most resenting the Middle East owner of the Derby favorite, Harry soon finds him- part find whole horses, their accoutrements (including a royal carriage), their self in the midst of a racing dynasty family squabble. As always with the Dick living quarters, their handlers and riders, from India to Spain to Kentucky. and Felix Francis novels, the protagonist quickly gets into deeper waters than You’ll even find a shot of Martha Stewart in her stable with several big black is safe. Hardcover, 384pp. $27.00 Due out October 9. horses (Friesians) and three miniature donkeys! And—hey, where’d those foxhound puppies come from? Yes, there are foxhunters, aside and astride and Hicks, India. A Slice of England. This lovely coffee-table book contains many beside their mounts. There’s one lovely lady I could swear I’ve seen in our exquisite photographs of the various homes which she and her family have store, but the caption only reads, “At a meet in Virginia in October.” She’s in occupied, but its greatest interest may lie in the family stories India recounts. a tan tweed astride a light grey—could be you? Hardcover, 191pp. $65.00 Her father is the legendary designer David Hicks, who married Lady Pamela Mountbatten, daughter of Louis, Earl Mountbatten of Burma, and a descendent
SHENANDOAH ANTIQUES EXPO TO GET YOUR AD IN THE NEXT ISSUE, CALL HORSE COUNTRY
Best Indoor/Outdoor Antiques Event/Market in the Mid-Atlantic 2018
Oct. 12 9-5 $10 Sat. Oct. 13 9-5 $5 Sun. Oct. 14 11-4 $5 Fri.
• One of the greatest gatherings of Dealers 2019 and Collectors in the Mid-Atlantic • Good Dealers, Good Antiques, Good Prices! Fri. May 10 9-5 $10 • 300+ Exhibitors - Inside and Outside Sat. May 11 9-5 $5 • Early Buyers: Enter Friday, 9 a.m. $10 each • Easy Access: I-64 (Exit 91) at Fisherville, VA Augusta Expoland 277 Expo Road, Fisherville, VA (434) 846-7452 • (434) 847-8242 www.heritagepromotions.net
The Official Publication of the Virginia Steeplechase Association